Inbal Dance Theater, Suzanne (world premier) by Emmanuel Gat. Suzanne Dellal, August 3

.photo- Emmanuel Gat

Tel Aviv Dance Festival opened on a high note with Suzanne, commissioned by Inbal Dance Company from Emmanuel Gat, world renowned Israeli choreographer, residing in southern France for the past fifteen years. Gat has there a successful dance company, yet this is the first time he agreed to create an original work for an Israeli dance company, since he wisely had left for greener pastures. The current Inbal company is a relatively new offspring of the original Inbal, founded in 1949, and has a promising future.

It was a pleasure to see how the company's dancers felt so comfortable performing  Gat's movement perceptions which are based on intelligence, humanitarian approach and free spirited artistic building blocks.

The cast includes eight dancers, each with specific attributes and varied dance background. They gave a decent fight for Gat's own company with its personal diversity, sense of fluency, and captivating mixture of their elegance and nonchalant attitude.

Gat often chose revered classical music to accompany his dance works, yet,  his Salsa based miniature is well remembered too. For Suzanne he remixed fragments from Nina Simon's live recorded performance at the Philharmonic Hall in N.Y 1969, the year he was born. Her deep warm voice is mesmerizing, and sometimes overpowering. Her singular renditions to timeless hits such as 'Black is the color of my true love's hair', Leonard Cohen's 'Suzanne' or bites from 'Hair', I believe, impose a measure of friction  between powerful emotions and moods of the music, which at times fights with the movement for attention. At the same time, the dance kaleidoscopic structure, elegant rhythms or emotional landscapes complied by different rules.

Even so, 'Suzanne' will be remembered for the refined achievement of Inbal dancers, their execution of complex timing cues needed for flawless smooth transitions from   endless disintegrating structures on the stage' space and unexpected regrouping compositions. Their power as a group is their intimacy and ability to function as a team, never too busy with what they have to do at the moment to notice what each one is doing around them. It seems that Gat saw them as well and appreciated who they are and made for them a tailored made dance which caused them to shine under the stage' lights.